It’s always the mother’s fault…

Though I find them intriguing, genetic studies like this one (Moms’ Genetics Might Help Produce Gay Sons) rarely say anything meaningful to me. An interesting experiment or dinner discussion perhaps, but it ain’t curing any diseases, you know? It is, at best, a curiosity satisfier, at worst, a reason to further pathologize an already oppressed population. Besides, seldom are they any kind of conclusive. For example, my favorite line from this article:

What does this all mean? The researchers aren’t sure…

It further explains its own shortcomings:

Still, there are caveats. Dr. Ionel Sandovici, a genetics researcher at The Babraham Institute in Cambridge, England, pointed out that most of the mothers of multiple gay sons didn’t share the unusual X-chromosome trait…Ultimately, Sandovici added, the origins of sexual orientation remain “rather a complicated biological puzzle.”

So just keep that in mind while you’re reading about “extreme Xs” or blaming Mom for all the other things that have gone wrong in your life.

The bigger fear, however, is exemplified in this paragraph towards the end:

And this line of research does have its critics. Some have worried that, in the future, manipulation of a “gay gene” or genes might be used as a method of preventing homosexuality in utero, or perhaps even after. But Bocklandt said these kinds of fears shouldn’t stand in the way of legitimate scientific research.

I recently engulfed myself in a short story collection of queer science-fiction. What this reminds me of is a story wherein a gay gene had been identified and most of America aborted their gay babies. Catholics, however, saw a parent’s abortion as a much larger sin than a lifelong battle with the sin of homosexuality. Therefore, the gay population is almost exclusively Catholic and Catholic imagery becomes equated with gay iconography. Every bit as fascinating…and plausible…as most of these studies…

For a thorough look at gender, sexuality and Drawinism from a thoroughly researched scientific yet still thoughtful and queer perspective I highly recommend Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People by transgendered Stanford Biology Professor Joan Roughgarden.

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